Brunch at Poachers Pantry

9 Apr

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

So, I’m probably one of the very last Canberrans to try out the uber-popular Sunday morning brunch spot that is Poachers Pantry. It only took me four years of hearing about how wonderful this winery-smokehouse-restaurant-cafe was before I decided to finally venture out there and judge for myself.

It was yet another dreary summer’s day in Canberra (which I was rather disappointed about, because the previous day had been glorious – blue skies, fluffy white clouds, deliciously warm) and my housemate and I felt like doing nothing more than lazing around the house. But we’d already booked a table at Poachers Pantry and I knew how busy they would be – it would have been bad form to cancel at such a late stage.

So we set off (in my housemate’s new fancy-schmancy Nissan 350z sports car) for the quick 25-minute drive out to Canberra’s winery region. Poachers Pantry is located in Hall, and is set amongst beautiful lush acreage. They have a long driveway framed by trees – it made for a really lovely drive. On arrival, we were swiftly ushered to our indoor table and handed menus to peruse. I immediately got the impression that Poachers Pantry really had their brunch routine down-pat. The staff were welcoming, efficient and knowledgeable, and the place seemed to be brimming with happy patrons.

I already knew what I wanted to order before I’d even arrived: The Poachers Pantry Meat Platter ($36). PP are reknowned for their smoked meats (which are also sold in some Canberra delicatessens), so it was a must-try for me. My friend and I peered at the passing platters bound for other tables, and decided that it would definitely be enough food for two (this was an important factor, since my dining partner had a rather large appetite). We ordered the platter, along with a Crown Lager and a glass of Canberra-region sparkling red (unfortunately, the wine’s name is not listed on their online menu – I was hoping to find it so I could go and buy another bottle or two. It was delish!).

The drinks were delivered swiftly and, while waiting for the food to arrive, we enjoyed the live jazz music that Poachers Pantry had organised as part of the Summer Side festival. It was great – the music wasn’t loud enough to be intrusive, but set a relaxing atmosphere for diners. The drizzly morning rain had cleared up by then, and I almost wished we were sitting outside to enjoy the music (there was no chance of that though – outdoor seats were at a premium!).

Soon enough, the goodies were delivered and we dug in eagerly. The platter included lamb with mountain pepper, prosciutto, peppered beef sirloin, kangaroo prosciutto, smoked turkey, a range of dips and marinated vegetables – and of course, some freshly baked bread and lavosh. We were definitely NOT disappointed. My favourite was a red onion jam slathered on the bread. The vine-wrapped dolmades were also pretty tasty. Across the table, my meat-loving companion devoured the tender lamb and the prosciutto, giving it a big thumbs up.

We were surprisingly full afterwards, so just sat and chilled for a little while to let our food digest. To their credit, the staff didn’t hurry us to leave the table (I’d heard that PP can sometimes be a bit strict with table turnovers between the first and second lunch sittings, so was a bit wary). We headed to the register to settle the bill (it worked out to be approx. $56 for the two of us – not bad at all, I say), which also gave us the opportunity to check out their wide range of products for sale – oils, wine, dips, sauces, chocolates… we could have easily spent a pretty penny, as it all looked delicious. But we limited ourselves to a bottle of good-quality olive oil and a packet of choccie-covered macadamias, then hit the road.

All in all, it was a really pleasant, laid-back brunch trip. As we were leaving the café, we commented on how it would make such a lovely venue for a wedding – and sure enough, I found out the next week that a colleague is planning to have her wedding there later this year. I reckon it’ll be beautiful. I definitely plan on going out to PP for brunch again soon – and, next time, I’m keen to try the Smokehouse Seafood Platter. Anyone wanna join me?

Who: T2 + friend

When: Sunday 27 February 2012

Where: 431 Nanima Road, Hall ACT

Worthwhile: Very worthwhile

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5 Responses to “Brunch at Poachers Pantry”

  1. Gary Lum April 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    I really enjoyed my last brunch there too

  2. Lauren April 23, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi T1 and T2

    Thank you for a great post about Poachers. We are thrilled that you both had such an enjoyable experience. We hope to see you back soon. Poachers Pantry.


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